David Tran, the guy who changed the way people eat food around the world with his very own Vietnamese hot chillies sauce recipe. Christine Ha, the first blind contestant of American MasterChef and the winner of its 3rd seasn in 2012 and there is also Jeannie Mai, the famous American TV host who is a great inspiration to a lot of woman around the world. Many more talented Viet can be named, which I am sure people here and there were mistaking us with others that come from “other” similar-look-alike ethics (no offense!). But one thing in common, we all come from Saigon.
If you do not know, we were the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina before the city’s name being changed to Ho Chi Minh City. The name Saigon gives an image of elegant resident, dedicated food culture, and french-design. Saigonese is indeed open, fun, humble, carefree and prove nothing to no-one but live and cherish our own amazing life. Fascinating, Cafe Viet reminds me a lot about home and my root-cause 🙂
It was a gorgeous evening to visit and I don’t think I’ve seen an antique mibilet since I was 6 or something rather. Their floor & wall decoration together with all their wooden french-style furniture pieces were just so Saigon back in the 80s I thought.The opening snacks of deep-fried squid with fried viet herbs and its authentic dipping sauce were a nice bite-size to start with. I was right about having it with a nice bottle of special Saigon Beer imported from home though.
Bang Bang Prawn was the second entree – juicy & fresh prawn coated in cốm, served with coconut & lemongrass dipping. Cốm (green rice) is a seasonal ingredient that only available over autumn and up North. It isn’t dye green though, it is indeed immature rice kernels roasted over low heat, then pounded until flattened. I do recommend you to try Cốm or this dish once as you will be indulged with its slightly sweet but nutty flavor at the same time.
Move on to the main, which was the famous Caramelized Pork and Eggs (or pork and eggs braised in coconut juice). Originally, it is a classic dish in Southern Viet daily dinner but also a must-have during Lunar new year. In Saigon and other Mekong delta region, most of the families will prepare a big pot of this to have for at least the first three days of new year. You can also find my recipe here – It was also my cooking show ‘s first esp dish which I did earlier in 2016. At Cafe Viet, I think it was 80% of what the dish supposed to be 🙂
In general, it was another wonderful experience and would be a pleasure to share with loved ones on the quality occasion it was. Or simply, just when you want to have Saigonese food 🙂
Erin M. ❤